Home reflow sees the light
Though reflowing boards at home can take some practice, there are lots of workable solutions out there – mostly involving kitchen appliances like toaster ovens and various sorts of hot plates and skillets.
Here’s an approach by David Sanz Kirbis I stumbled upon recently that I like even more than the usual kitchen-based designs. It uses a halogen shop or flood light as heat source and enclosure (this limits board size, but it shouldn’t be much work to build a larger version).
David’s also gone and made a slick controller for it – based on an existing design – but this setup could probably be operated manually too along with a thermocouple to monitor the cooking profile. Not that I’d want to do that for more than occasional use.
If I were to build one of these, I’d try some slight modifications, like a light shield between the lamp and board to eliminate the direct, and uneven, radiative heating, and perhaps a stirrer to keep the air circulating and at an even temperature.
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